Data Protection Subject Access
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives individuals certain rights. It allows us to find out what information is held about us on computer and sometimes paper records. This is known as a ‘Right of Subject Access’.
It also states that those who record and use personal information must be open about how the information is used and they must follow the eight data protection principles of good practice, which are:
- Processed fairly and lawfully
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Not kept longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
- Not transferred to countries outside the EEA without adequate protection
What is ‘Personal Data’?
Personal Data is defined as information relating to a ‘living’ individual who can be identified either from the information itself or indirectly by combining the information with other data available to the data controller. Personal data includes expressions of opinion about the individual and any indication of intentions anyone may have in respect of the individual.
Subject to certain exemptions you have a right to be told whether any information is held about you and a right to a copy of that information. You DO NOT have the right to any information that identifies someone else, or the right to information that is not your personal data.
How to access your records – Subject Access
The Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act give an individual the right to have a copy of any personal data held on them.
Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that a ‘data subject’ (the person about whom the personal data refers) is entitled, upon written request, to be informed whether or not personal data is held or processed about them.
If you would like to know what information The OPCC holds about you on the local systems, you must put a request in writing to:
The Chief Executive
Northamptonshire Police & Crime Commissioner
The West Wing
To help establish your identity your application must be accompanied by COPIES of TWO official documents, which between them clearly show your name, date of birth and current address. For example, driving licence, medical card, birth/adoption certificate, passport and any other official document, which shows your name, date of birth and address
If you require information from the Police National Computer surrounding your Prosecution, Conviction and Caution History, please download and complete this form instead of using the online application. Refunds will no longer be given for completion of the incorrect form online. If you have any questions, please call Northamptonshire Police on 101 and ask for the Information Unit.
Proof of identification and payment of £10 must accompany a completed application form. Please note that once we have received your completed application it can take up to 40 days to receive a response.
Applicants wishing to apply for subject access as a condition of employment should refer to the following link: www.disclosurescotland.co.uk or telephone 0870 6096006
If you are or intend to work with children or vulnerable adults contact the Disclosure and Barring Service on 0870 9090811 or visit: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/dbs
Emigration applications usually require your ‘Prosecution/Conviction History’ record as held on the Police National Computer. Please note it can take up to 40 days to receive a response.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Bahamas, Chile, Belgium and the United States of America require people emigrating from the UK to have a Police Certificate (as opposed to Subject Access) before they can be awarded a visa. These certificates are provided by the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO).
For more information please contact ACRO Customer Services
Telephone: 0845 60 13 999 (international callers: 0044 1962 87 1111)
Or write to ACRO at the following address enclosing a stamped address envelope:
PO Box 481
Evidence of Character
Police Forces within the United Kingdom DO NOT issue documents described as ‘certificates of good conduct’ or ‘Police Clearance Certificates’. Nor do they provide other evidence of good character. It should therefore be noted that to exercise your rights under the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 would NOT provide you with a certificate of this nature.
The PCC’s Rights
The Police and Crime Commissioner may deny access to information where the Act allows. The Act provides exemptions in relation to information held for:
- The prevention or detection of crime;
- The apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
- The interests of national security;
where disclosing that information to you would be likely to prejudice any of these purposes.
These notes are only a guide. The law is stated within the Data Protection Act 1998. Further information may be obtained from: